Year 1, Day 15
Movie #32: Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)
Length: 155 minutes
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen and Rodrigo Santoro
Plot: A drama centered on the romance between Ernest Hemingway and WWII correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls and the only woman who ever asked for a divorce from the writer.
Review: I know little about Ernest Hemingway’s personal life and even less about Martha Gellhorn’s so I thought this movie would be an interesting introduction to a couple of interesting people’s lives. It served that purpose at least – I was intrigued enough to want to do further research to learn more about the true story of this explosive couple.
I liked the filming style – how they incorporated real footage from these historical events to the contemporary re-telling. Certain scenes faded from color to black and white flawlessly, which added to the historic time period and set the mood.
The biggest drawback really is the length. It’s two and half hours long but it could probably be shaved down to at least two hours, maybe an hour and a half, by cutting down scenes that seemed to drag on for far too long. For such a long movie, I learned surprisingly little about either character because it was kept pretty superficial. They didn’t hold back with the sex scenes though so they deserve credit for that.
The acting was also a tad disappointing - I wouldn’t call the performances bad but I don’t think either Kidman or Owen put their all into the parts. And I know it’s not his fault but with the fake mustache and those glasses, Clive Owen looked less like Ernest Hemingway and more like Groucho Marx.
For a high budget movie with A list actors, Hemingway and Gellhorn is annoyingly average.